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Someone to Love by Mary Balogh

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Someone to Love by Mary Balogh
Signet: November 8, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

Beach Vacation
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I’m a huge fan of Mary Balogh and have loved her Survivors’ Club series. Naturally, once that series ended a new one had to begin. Someone to Love is the first in Balogh’s Wescott series featuring a family that finds itself neck deep in scandal when the head of the family dies and it is discovered that he had a secret wife and child, which makes his second marriage invalid and those children illegitimate. Miss Anna Snow is that illegitimate child, and discovering that she’s an heiress is almost like a dream came true. However, for Anna, what the bigger draw is the discovery that she has family: half-siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a grandmother. Of course, becoming part of that family is no simple task, especially when that family is shocked at her existence.

Aiding Anna is Avery Archer the debonair Duke of Netherby, who normally wouldn’t trouble himself to get involved. Avery is not really even part of the Westcott family as its his stepmother that is truly related. However, Avery finds himself part of Anna’s transformation process and surprisingly drawn to the plain, composed woman. Their romance is a surprising one, yet Balogh excels at demonstrating how these two characters compliment one another. (more…)

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Pride of Lions by Marsha Canham

707252Pride of Lions by Marsha Canham
Dell Publishing Company: 1997
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Purchased secondhand

Beach vacation
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This has been on my to-read list for at least a year, and I finally got around to purchasing it secondhand recently. Unfortunately, it’s old enough that it’s difficult to find at the library.

I expected this to be a historical romance along the lines of Julie Garwood, but was pleasantly surprised to find it more substantial than that.

It still has all the classic romance tropes, so if that’s your thing then you’re sure to like this book. (more…)

Dead Heat

22571699Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
(Alpha & Omega #4)
Ace: Re-released March 3, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Source: Free from Publisher

I’d go there again!
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I don’t often read series that follow the same romantic couple. I love this couple, and I love how their relationship is developing in each book. They’re both supportive of each other, their relationship is growing stronger, and they’re still ironing out some wrinkles. The dominance/submission aspect is absent, because Anna is an Omega – a werewolf who stands outside pack hierarchy, helps soothe dominant werewolves’ aggression, and doesn’t follow orders.

In this book, Charles and Anna are in the west looking for horses to buy and visiting an old friend of Charles, who is dying in his old age. While there, they discover a mysterious fae is stealing children, so of course they investigate. As tensions rise between werewolves, fae, vampires, and humans, the line between good and evil blurs a bit, making it even more difficult to generalize which race means well and which means mischief. As I’ve come to expect in this series, the resolution to the mystery is satisfying. (more…)

The Stylishly Thrilling “Wolf Winter”

21413846Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck
HarperCollins: January 27, 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!
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“Wolf winter,” she said, her voice small. “I wanted to ask about it. You know, what it is.”

He was silent for a long time. “It’s the kind of winter that will remind us we are mortal,” he said. “Mortal and alone” (p. 107).

Wolf Winter is a historical thriller set in 1717 Sweden and what a stylish read it is. Maija, her husband, and her two daughters, Frederika and Dorotea have moved to the Swedish Lapland from Finland, having traded properties with a family member. Soon after arriving, Frederika and Dorotea find a man dead near a marsh. The settlers want to believe that it was an animal attack but Maija is convinced that it was murder and sets out to prove her point, only to have the settlers tell her that there is something evil on the mountain. (more…)

Family Adventure in “Swords and Scoundrels”

24819531Swords and Scoundrels by Julia Knight
Orbit: October 6, 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free From Library

Beach Vacation
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In all honesty I picked up Swords and Scoundrels because of the cover; seriously it looks badass. When I read the description I was even more intrigued. Here we have two siblings, Kacha and Vocho who are disgraced duelists, exiled from the guild for Vocho’s apparent murder of a priest, whom they were supposed to be guarding. Now having taken to a life of crime, Kacha and Vocho find themselves embroiled in a larger conspiracy when they rob the wrong carriage and come to the attention of dangerous men. (more…)

“Revenge and the Wild”: Western Adventure Falls Flat

21843165Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
Balzer + Bra: February 2, 2016
Genre: Western; Steampunk
Source: Free From Publisher

The view was nice, but the food was bad.
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Revenge and the Wild had a really awesome premise: girl tracks down the cannibals that ate her family. And, it’s also a Western for teens. I’ve been seeing a few Western style YA books out there recently (i.e Vengeance Road, Wake of Vultures etc.), but Revenge and the Wild is the first that I’ve read. There were elements of Revenge and the Wild that I liked, but as a whole I found that there was something lacking.

Westie is seventeen years old and as a child she lost her arm when cannibals attacked her family. Westie was the only survivor. Now as a young woman, Westie continues to search for these cannibals only to discover that they have actually come to her. Her guardian, Nigel, has invented a machine that will amplify the magic in the area, protecting the Native population that live near as well as the magical creatures that share the town with the humans. When a wealthy family comes to town to invest in Nigel’s machine, Westie recognizes them as the cannibals that killed her family. Of course, Nigel (and everyone else) is reluctant to believe that the folks with money are the bad guys, after all, they need the investment. But, Westie refuses to back down on her suspicions and when a few folks wind up dead, it goes a long way to convincing the naysayers. (more…)

Happily Ever After for “The Hunter”

25398324The Hunter by Kerrigan Byrne
St. Martin’s: February 2, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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The Hunter is the follow-up to the much-hyped The Highwayman. I think I was in the minority camp with the previous book: I didn’t love The Highwayman (gasp!). And, initially when I started The Hunter I didn’t think that I would like it either. Morally ambiguous characters in the romance genre don’t really do it for me. But, The Hunter took me by surprise as the author transformed a cold-blooded assassin into a romance hero, and it…worked. Only in romancelandia does an assassin get a happily ever after. But, what really won me over was the author’s sensual style of writing and the author’s unique turns of phrase. I’ll be the first to admit that I read A LOT of historical romance, and they all start to blend together after awhile. With The Hunter I realized that I was reading something refreshingly different, and for that, I found The Hunter to be a really good read. (more…)

Crowning “The False Prince”

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The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
Scholastic: April 1, 2012
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Source: Free From Library

Beach Vacation
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The False Prince is a bit of a departure from what I normally read. It’s children’s fantasy and I usually stick to YA or adult reads. However, with a new job in the children’s department of the library comes new forays into fiction reading.

Sage is an orphan and has been “rescued” from his sad life by nobleman, Connor. Along with two other boys, Sage will have to compete for the right to be crowned Prince Jaron, long thought to be dead. The royal family of Carthya has been murdered and Connor plans to fill that power vacuum with a prince that he can control. In choosing one of the three orphans he has selected, Connor plans to crown one as the lost Prince Jaron. Unlike the two other boys, Sage is not inclined to play by Connor’s rules even if it means that he will be crowned king. (more…)

Taking on the Ton: “My American Duchess”

25817386My American Duchess by Eloisa James
Avon: January 26, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Review Source: Free from publisher.

I’d go there again!
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I’m a more recent member of the Eloisa James fan club, and My American Duchess just solidifies my opinion that James’ writes my kind of historical romance: funny, emotional, character-driven. My American Duchess is all of those things.

Merry Pelford is an American heiress abroad. She’s traveled with her aunt and uncle to London after jilting two fiancés, one of whom sued her for breach of promise. After accepting her third proposal, Merry vows to make it down the aisle. The problem is that she immediately feels misgivings towards her intended groom, the least of which is her troublesome attraction to her future brother-in-law, the Duke of Trent. Trent is rather taken with Merry the moment they meet and vows to marry her, only to discover that his twin brother has beaten him to the punch. Sensing that Merry can reign in his brother, Trent decides to concede defeat, only to realize that he can’t stay away. (more…)

Joint Review: “Dreaming Death”

25476118Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney
Roc: February 2, 2016
Genre: Fantasy; Mystery
Source: Free from publisher

The last joint review we shared here ended up being a “duel” review. With City of Light, Jaclyn and I couldn’t have been further apart in our reactions to the book. This was absolutely not the case with Dreaming Death. In fact, we both want to go back to the world that Cheney has created.

The Book…

Shironne Anjir’s status as a sensitive is both a gift and a curse. Her augmented senses allow her to discover and feel things others can’t, but her talents come with a price: a constant assault of emotions and sensations has left her blind. Determined to use her abilities as best she can, Shironne works tirelessly as an investigator for the Larossan army.

A member of the royal family’s guard, Mikael Lee also possesses an overwhelming power—he dreams of the deaths of others, sometimes in vivid, shocking detail, and sometimes in cryptic fragments and half-remembered images.

But then a killer brings a reign of terror to the city, snuffing out his victims with an arcane and deadly blood magic. Only Shironne can sense and interpret Mikael’s dim, dark dreams of the murders. And what they find together will lead them into a nightmare…  (more…)